Causes & Treatment

IVF and The Covid Vaccine – What You Need to Know by Dr. Guy Ringler from California Fertility Partners

Eloise Edington  |   27 Jan 2021


At California Fertility Partners (CFP), it is their goal to provide comprehensive and compassionate fertility care to all their patients. Dr. Guy Ringler is the leading fertility specialist at fertility clinic, CFP. He focuses on exceptional personal care for every patient, and makes sure that every surrogate, egg donor and intended parent he sees experiences the highest level of medical care.

After growing up in suburban Detroit, Dr Ringler graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, followed by medical school in Detroit at Wayne State University, where he received the class award for highest honors in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. In this fertility blog he will be mapping out considerations around the COVID vaccines and shares optimism about the future.

Read on to find out about how California Fertility Partners are involved in our brand-new Fertility Clinics vs. Covid worldwide initiative, in which they’re offering one of our readers a free round of IVF. We couldn’t be more grateful, as we know this will bring someone so much hope.

Over to Dr Ringler | @californiafertilitypartners


Fertility Treatment During Covid

Helping people have children and build the family of their dreams, while overcoming fertility issues, has been my driving passion throughout my entire professional life. Through eight years of schooling at the best universities, four years of post-graduate education at some of the top medical centers, and 30 years practicing reproductive medicine, seeing the joy of people who had experienced fertility challenges suddenly hold their newborn child has brought me my life’s fulfilment. There is nothing as rewarding as helping someone make their dream come true.

I’m proud that over these 30 years, I’ve helped bring thousands of beautiful children into this world. Their parents have been both gay and straight, single and married men and women from Southern California, as well as across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia who thought their dreams of having a family were over, and everyone in between.

Of course, 2020 brought some serious new challenges

Since March 2020, we’ve been dealing with the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of our lives, including how we make babies. As fertility specialists we followed the recommendations of our professional organizations, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), to provide our patients with the safest approach to advanced fertility care. Our office protocols changed to minimize the risk of infection to our patients seeking fertility treatment. The promise of vaccines has brought hope to so many. They’ve also brought questions and new dynamics for us to navigate.

Related Article – IVF Success Rates: Measuring Yours and Your Clinic’s

COVID Vaccines and Fertility

Over the last two months two companies (in the US)– Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna – have introduced vaccines that have been shown to prevent severe disease in up to 95% of patients. These vaccines are composed of messenger RNA (mRNA) that encodes a portion of the spike protein present on the surface of the COVID virus. Once injected into our arms, the mRNA molecule enters muscle cells and gives instructions to make a portion of the spike protein. These spike proteins are then recognized by our immune cells, and trigg
er the production of antibodies that attack the virus and prevent its replication.

The COVID vaccines have been tested in clinical studies and have not been shown to cause infertility in women or men. A similar number of patients conceived following injection of the Pfizer vaccine as those that received the placebo. In addition, a study with the Moderna vaccine did not show any impact on fertility in rats.

Some Internet posts have expressed concern that the vaccine might interfere with placenta formation, since the mRNA molecule shares a very small segment of genetic code for a protein that helps build the placenta, but the COVID vaccine does not induce antibodies against this protein.

Related Article – IVF Blog: How To Prepare for an Embryo Transfer


Considerations Ahead of Getting the Vaccine

Clinical studies on the COVID vaccine during pregnancy have not yet been conducted. When considering whether to receive the vaccine, pregnant women should compare the potential risks of the vaccine to the risks of acquiring COVID while pregnant.

Reports have identified potential risks of COVID infection during pregnancy to include: greater severity of infection of the disease, more hospital admissions, and increased risk for early delivery compared to non-pregnant women. As the incidence of COVID within communities changes around the world, one must reassess and weigh the risks of acquiring the infection in your area versus the potential risks of getting the vaccine.

For women who are trying to conceive, or who are pregnant, several professional organizations have recommended that women receive the vaccine after considering the risks and benefits of the injection. The CDC, the American College of Ob/Gyn, and the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine have all recommended that the vaccine not be withheld from this group of women since, for most women, the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. It’s important to discuss with your doctor / fertility specialist whether the vaccine is in your best interest and the timing of your vaccination.

We are running a webinar Q&A with Fertility Help Hub on Covid vaccine considerations / fertility treatment timings, this coming Tuesday 23rd 8pm UK / 12pm PST. This is also an opportunity for people oversees to understand how they can start treatment with us right now.


Related Article – Fertility Treatment Costs: The Ultimate Breakdown


A Team to Help You Along Your Fertility Journey

Whatever your choice regarding the vaccines, helping people overcome infertility takes a team. Fortunately, we have dedicated nurses and staff who commit their personal energies to help support our patients throughout their fertility treatment.

Also, working with partners at sperm banks, surrogacy agencies, egg-donor agencies and law firms is critical to making sure every single person who steps through our doors feels they are well taken care of.

This team is even broader today, as we have adapted to the pandemic by partnering with laboratory professionals around the world to freeze sperm and obtain necessary infectious disease tests that reduce the need for our international patients to travel to Los Angel
es during the pandemic. Given various travel restrictions, these partnerships with professionals across the United States and in other countries has been critical to our work over the last year.


Continuing to Deliver High IVF Success Rates

We’re proud that our main goal — having a pregnancy and delivery on the first try — has not changed, and we continue to see great IVF success. We attribute our very high IVF success rates to our meticulous attention to detail throughout the fertility treatment process. Our outstanding international reputation is the result of decades of innovation in the field of IVF and surrogacy, as well as our long-term experience working with patients and professionals from around the world.

California Fertility Partners has been at the forefront of the industry since the early 1980s, leading the way with early, groundbreaking IVF programs and innovative technologies. We were proudly the first fertility clinic to create a pregnancy from a thawed frozen embryo over 30 years ago, and we were one of the first IVF programs to help gay men have children through egg donation and surrogacy.

Our commitment to providing our patients the highest quality care possible is reflected in our new state-of-the art facility that combines a state of the art IVF laboratory with modern clinical spaces to monitor and treat our patients. The facility was designed to provide a safe and relaxing environment in which to receive fertility care, which has helped our patients continue care during the pandemic.

Related Article – Introducing Fertility Clinics vs. Covid – Free IVF or Donor Sperm Worldwide


The Importance of Personalized Care

One of the core values at CFP is delivering not just the best care, but the best personalized care. The patients we work with aren’t names on charts, they’re people, many of whom have been struggling for months or years with fertility issues, and each of whom has a different approach to the pandemic. We’ve found that working with each patient as a person with an individual story and background helps bring a level of comfort with the process that yields more productive results. During the pandemic, which has created new individualized needs and concerns, this is even more true than ever before.

What that means is if I am your fertility specialist, I will personally oversee all aspects of your care and fertility treatment. I will perform your monitoring exams, your surgeries, and your embryo transfers. This continuity of care provides better outcomes and improved satisfaction for all of our patients. This is true for patients, no matter where they are in the world. I’ve helped people from many different countries — England, Italy, Spain, Canada, China, Australia — build the families they have always dreamed of. When they need to talk with me, I make myself available. It’s important for me to be there for them when they need me.

When I travel to these countries, I take a lot of joy in reconnecting with some of my patients, meeting their children and celebrating family. On one trip to Spain several years ago, one of my patients organized a meet-up with several other patients and me. It was a highlight of my trip. Everyone deserves to have a family, even with the COVID pandemic upon us. My family has meant so much to me throughout my life, and no matter who you are, I want to help you build the family of your dreams.

Fertility Clinics vs Covid – Our Free IVF Cycle

CFP is excited to be working with FHH to support their global Fertility Clinics vs Covid campaign, and to be contributing a FREE round of IVF as part of this. Helping people buil
d the family of their dreams isn’t just my profession, it’s also my passion and life’s work. While our fertility clinic is again operating near pre-pandemic levels, I also know many people have been impacted financially by the pandemic and may have to further delay or reconsider building a family. It breaks my heart and, if being part of this initiative can help one person or one couple have children, it’s something I’m proud to be part of.

Find out more and apply here.

Related Article – What Do Fertility Tests Involve? By Blair Nelson

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